This is a question many ask especially when they are looking at cheaper services from an unlicensed individual. We have all heard the saying, "you get what you pay for" and that can reach well beyond just the products your paying for. When you use a licensed professional for your service, especially in the salon, you are getting services from someone who took the time to do things the right way.
This means you will get better services by someone who will be following the laws and regulations set forth by the state, which includes safety and sanitation. A service provider who has not gone through the proper schooling and licensing exams, can be dangerous to you. They do not know how to properly clean and sanitize their items and spaces, opening you up to bacteria and infections. They have skipped doing the proper schooling which means they will not give the proper time to their product choices or their services. They will cut corners on products and cleaners, leaving you open to poor services and again bacteria and infections.
They also will not be able to carry the proper insurances as those companies will not insure a non licensed individual which means if you are injured or get an infection, you will deal with the cost of medical yourself as they don't have the insurance to cover you.
Most unlicensed individuals work from their home, they are not following state regulations on how their work space should be set up with separate entrances and separate facilities. This can mean children, or animals in during the service. This can be dangerous to you as a client not only because of potential accidents, but possible allergies.
When you see a licensed provider in a salon setting you are getting a regulated and inspected, clean place to have your services done. You are getting a provider who cares about following the rules and providing you with the best services, done correctly with the best products.
Providers who do services unlicensed and unschooled, hurt our industry. By charging lower prices for subpar services they hurt the providers who spent up to 20k to receive the proper schooling and licensing to ensure they take good care of their clients and ensure their clients are safe.
States are starting to crack down on these unlicensed individuals and unlicensed establishments with up to 50,000 dollar fines.
So when you ask if the license really matters the short answer is.......yes!